Athlete of the Week: Summerville's Zack Bailey
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - Summerville offensive lineman Zack Bailey made news earlier this week when he signed on to play for the Gamecocks, but he's the first of a new generation of Green Wave.
And he's the Athlete of the Week.
In a town known for Friday nights and a guy named John McKissick, Bailey was surprised by the culture when he arrived four years ago.
"I didn't know about Summerville, coaches, or anything like that," he said.
Bailey is the first of his kind, the first big-time recruit of the Boeing generation. While politicians and business executives talked about the jobs and employees the aircraft manufacturing giant would bring, they didn't talk about the families that would come with them.
And in Summerville's case, that meant an incredible football player.
"I'm from Washington. In Washington, football isn't the biggest thing," Bailey said. "I came here and it was a culture shock for me. The first day at school and coaches asked if I was coming out. I didn't know. I never played football in Washington. But I'm so glad I did. It was the opportunity of a lifetime."
And in a place like Summerville with a coach like McKissick, he was quickly noticed.
"He's going to be a good one. Good size, quick feet, intelligent enough to know what to do - I think he's going to be good," McKissick said, possibly understating Bailey's presence on the field.
The 6-foot, 6-inch, 320-pound offensive lineman is considered the top offensive lineman in the state and quite a big pick for Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier.
"USC first offered. I went home to tell my mom and she was like, 'What?'" Bailey said. "She couldn't believe me at first so she researched it and saw it. She was ecstatic."
Landing in the Lowcountry with Boeing and only four years into his football career, his potential is just taking flight.
"If I was still in Washington, I couldn't see myself where I am," Bailey said.